Today I’ll be taking a look at a gaming headset from Coolermaster. The Masterpulse costs just £45 in the UK and around $40 in the US. But is it a good headset for the budget gamers out there?

Design and Build

The style of the headset is quite industrial and solid looking. With exposed screws, metal cabling, a metal frame, angular components and its dark colour scheme, its a got its own style and I’ve grown to like it. On the side of the headset you’ve got a removable plate that features the Coolermaster logo, its subtle and blends in nicely with the design.

test-3

Also a cool addition to this is that you can have custom side panels by 3D printing your own design. The side panel is held on by four magnets and on the underside features more branding and a mesh design.

plate

Removing the panels also reveals a cool feature, which I will cover in the sound portion of the review.

mesh

The frame as mentioned is metal, more specifically Aluminium and feels super solid. I don’t see there being any build issues with it at all. The frame is also split to held reduce weight as this isn’t exactly the lightest of gaming headphones, but again more on that later.

headband

On the inside is the suspension design, this is different to usual fabric offerings and it works just as good as the fabric counterpart. The aesthetic of it also is in keeping with the rest of the theme, whereas fabric would have looked out of place. It has a really nice soft touch finish to the top section and a decent amount of padding underneath.

cabling

The housing next is made from a solid plastic and coated in a semi matte finish. The housing is on then large side and is quite bulky. But again a smaller design wouldn’t look right. On the left side is the mic, this is built into the housing and is very unobtrusive. I like this addition as you don’t have a large mic arm in front of your face at all times. But will that have an impact on mic quality? The earcups again are on the large side and honestly some of the thickest I’ve ever encountered. The finish is nice too.

housing

Next up is the cable, this is red, is a flat style and measures in at 1.2m without the split extension which adds an additional 0.3m. I think a more colour neutral offering would have been better, but that’s just my opinion. The cable feels really nice though and is well made. The downside is that the cable is non removable meaning if it does so happen to break, they’d need sending off to be repaired. I think they missed an opportunity to make it removable and have the ability to sell spares.

non-removable-cable

On the cable there is a handy remote that features some more subtle branding, a mute toggle and volume control. The mute toggle is a nice touch as you can switch off your mic on the fly. The volume control again works well for adjusting your in game volume if needed. Its easy to use as you can pretty much make all the adjustments you need without looking at it. The scroll is nice and smooth which just adds to the ease of use experience.

remote

The cable also has a little trick up its sleeve and features a removable extension. The connection is solid and shouldn’t accidentally get pulled apart when in the middle of a game. Once removed you’ll find a solitary 3.5mm connector. This means that you can use this with mobile devices or for music without having the secondary mic cable in the way. Its a nice touch.

3.5mm

The previously mentioned extension that comes bundled allows you to split into both audio and mic if you do fancy a chat or you’re playing an online game that requires it.

extension

Onto the build now and these are probably the best built I’ve ever come across at this price point. The overall headset is really solid and is in fact better built than some headsets costing twice as much. But all in all for the design and build I like the rugged styling and build, so no complaints.

Comfort

Like mentioned these are a fair bit heavy, weighing in at approximately 0.4kg or 0.88lbs they are a little on the heavy side. Alright so you maybe okay with that but I prefer a lighter headset personally. But I suppose with the great build, the extra weight is a trade off. The headband on this is impressive, I like the suspension style more than traditional headbands as they seem to do a much better job at distributing the weight across your head. This is welcome for me as I think a traditional headband wouldn’t cope as good with the weight of these. The headband also has a great degree of movements meaning its really easy to find a comfortable position. The padding is nice too, its soft, smooth and doesn’t cause any fatigue.

headband-padding

The earcups are good too, the padding is fairly plush and there is plenty of it. My only slight criticism here is the opening, for me its just about okay, but if you have larger ears it might be a touch small. One final critique is the clamping force, its a little strong for me, hopefully it will loosen up over time.

earcup-padding

Also I did note that after 2 hours using these without a break they started to get quite toasty, I would advise regular breaks when using to alleviate the build up of heat. One final point to bring up is that when wearing them around your neck they are a little uncomfortable due to their size the fact that the earcups don’t rotate. But you could always place them on a hanger or your desk. Its nothing major but it’s just something I thought I’d mention.

Noise isolation and Leak

The Masterpulse are pretty impressive here, they do a good job of blocking out external noises and this provides a good experience as no external noise spoils your game audio. One fine example of this is my PC, its around 2ft away from were I sit to game and at full tilt it can get pretty loud. These block out all the fan noise and I can’t hear it anymore. They also block out the noise from my mechanical keyboard. The keyboard I use has Cherry MX Brown switches, which are not the noisiest of switches it does still successfully block all of the noise generated by it out.

Its quite impressive considering these have no noise cancelling at all. Leak is not too great but not awful either. Some noise does escape especially at max volume, however if like me you only have them at 50 to 60% then the leak is minimal.

Mic quality

mic

Here are the settings I tried.

+10dB, recording volume 100%. This option is too quiet but there is a fair amount of noise but the quality is decent. Its clear and quite detailed, just too quiet. For a recording it would be okay as you can tweak it, but for game chat or a stream its simply not loud enough.

+20dB, recording volume 100%. This setting is loud enough but it introduces a lot of noise, the quality takes a hit too and the clarity reduces a little bit. This is probably the best option out of the three for streaming.

+30dB, recording volume 100% is too loud and the noise is very distracting. Even turning down the recording volume didn’t help as the noise was unbearable.

Overall the mic is not that great to be honest, 10dB was the best in terms of outright quality but it was too quiet for streaming. Unless your willing to turn up your system volume to around 80%. Then you’d need to tweak and adjust your game volume to make sure its not too loud. I know I said 20dB would be the best option, but if you’re willing to perform some adjustments and tell your viewers to turn up their volume it could work out. If you’re not wanting to do that, 20dB is about the best option. But that is with my setup, so you’ll have to find the right balance and what is best for you.

Keep in mind that this is the front panel audio and if you used the ports at the rear then your experience maybe better.

Specifications

  • 44mm drivers
  • 20 – 20,000Hz frequency response
  • 50 ohm
  • 118dB regular mode
  • 109db bass fx mode

More specifications here: www.coolermaster.com/masterpulse/specs

Sound

As I mentioned the Masterpulse has a little trick up its sleeve and that is two different sound modes. Well you know those removable plates I mentioned earlier, these actually effect the sound. So I’ll do this in two parts.

Plates off: Removing the plates immediately boosts the bass and makes the sound more exciting and vigorous. The bass has much more potency and punch. The drop is extended and it reaches new levels of low in comparison to with the panels on. The mids do suffer a little and you get some detail and clarity drop off. Its also a little more overpowered by the bass. Vocals suffer a little too, not as much as the rest of the mids. Voice chat is still clear, but there is a slight drop off again in absolute clarity. So if your team mates mic volume is low then it will be a little bit more difficult to hear. Also in games like Battlefield 1 and PUBG you lose an advantage of being to pin point foots more accurately I also noticed that they are a lot more muffled and less clear. You do also lose a little spacial awareness which again can be an advantage in game. Don’t get me wrong its still decent, but finer details like footsteps or a car pulling up on you is more tricky to pick out. That’s why I suggest this mode for games that don’t require as much awareness of your surroundings. Take GTA V and Batman Arkham Knight as two examples. You don’t need as much clarity in the mids or highs to pick out details. What it does instead is makes the games more dramatic and more enjoyable to play.

panel-off

Plates on: With the plates on the sound is much more detailed and clear. You lose a lot of the bass and its not as full bodied. However in the games like previously mentioned this gives you a good advantage, you can more clearly pick up footsteps and movement around you. Chat is much clearer and its easier to distinguish. The sound is more spacious as its not being as muffled by the bass, this again makes things clearer. The mids are plenty detailed if a touch hollow sounding, but again you don’t really want a thick mid when trying to pinpoint your enemies position. Sound direction is also easier to pick out as well. Its still impressive with the plates off, but this is just a little better. Soundstage is more open too which again means finding sound sources is a little easier.

panels-on

All in all whether you play games like GTA or BF1 this headset has you covered without the need to mess about with your settings.

Summary

In my honest opinion I really thought that this headset was at least £75 when I first received them. That’s thanks to the premium quality feel of the build, the design, the inclusion of the two different sound modes and the part modularity of the removable, 3D printable plates . Even if they were £75 I would have been pretty impressed. Then after looking at the price I was kinda shocked that they were only £45/$40 at the time this review was posted. So taking that lower cost into account these are a highly impressive headset. The big plus points are the design, the extra features, the noise isolation and the sound.

The negatives for me are the comfort, mic and that’s pretty much it.

In all truth these are easily some of the best gaming headphones you can pick up at this price point, if you can cope with the weight and you use an external mic, then honestly I’m finding it difficult to fault them. So if you’re in the market for an affordable headset that will last you a long while, these should definitely be a pair to highly consider.

Pick some up here

UK: www.amazon.co.uk/coolermaster-masterpulse

US: www.amazon.com/coolermaster-masterpulse

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Weston

Hey I’m Weston and I’d definitely say that I’m a technology enthusiast. I’ve been in the tech space a while and I really love pretty much anything tech or tech related.

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